The Raven Cycle Series

The Raven Boys

The Dream Thieves

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

The Raven King

By Maggie Stiefvater

dream

/drēm/

Noun

  1. a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep.

verb

  1. experience dreams during sleep.
  2. contemplate the possibility of doing something or that something might be the cause.

 

Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle series forces the reader to think about dreams in a radically new way. Dreams are no longer something that only occurs when you’re sleeping. Dreams are no longer what you wish for your future. The characters relationship to dreaming is nothing like ours. Dreams become reality with the way that Stiefvater spins her literary magic; dreams are her words on the paper. The series follows the interconnected and tangled lives of Blue Sargent and her Raven Boys: Richard “Dick” Gansey III, Adam Parrish, and Ronan Lynch. The tale Stiefvater creates involves psychics, lay lines, mystical hidden Welsh kings, and endless possibilities.

The first book in the series The Raven Boys pulls the reader in with Stifvater’s unique way of writing. The way she writes cannot be boxed into a single descriptor. The point of view of the book is not written in first person perspective or second person perspective. It’s not an omniscient observer or even a single character perspective. It is constantly changing and jumping from little storyline to little story line that comes together to weave the big picture. Sometimes I found myself becoming frustrated with her way of writing. I wanted a clear understanding of one character and their perspective on what was happening around them. I’m happy that’s not what I received because the more I read, the more I found myself dreaming along with the characters. Once I got over the “strangeness” of the writing, I was able to follow its cadence. I followed its notes to the very end and rushed to begin reading the second book.

The Dream Thieves, the second book in the series, was not what I expected it to be. If the first book focused more on the character of Blue, then the second book was all about Ronan – my favorite character. The second book in the series finally answers many questions that come up in the first book. I won’t go into detail in order to avoid spoilers, but let’s just say Ronan plays a pivotal role in terms of dreams. The character development that occurs within this book is astronomical. The reader not only learns more of the background of each character but meets more of their family members. The reader finally begins to see a more holistic view of each character and the discoveries are immense. If you couldn’t already tell, I loved the second book. I devoured it in less than two days and moved straight into the third book.

Lily Blue, Blue Lily is the third installment in the series and Stiefvater just keeps the ball rolling. One second you think you know where the story is headed, and in the next second, she’s gone in an entirely different direction and thrown in a new character to boot. I thoroughly enjoyed all the twist and turns of the story and appreciated not being able to guess the ending. Too often when reading books or watching TV shows, if you pay close enough attention, you can predict the ending. That is not true with this series – it’s a roller coaster with hidden turns from start to finish.

The Raven King is the fourth and final installment in the series. Stiefvater ends the series like a beautiful symphony; all the players have made their entrance and had their solos. The crescendo has been reached and the final lingering note played. That single note keeps playing, letting the listener imagine what should come next. The ending is satisfactory yet allows for the continuation of dreaming. Stiefvater has dreamt this amazing world to life, but now it’s up to the reader to dream the rest. The Raven Cycle series is one of disbelief, vivid emotions, and endless possibilities. It is a dream made reality and whispers for you to never stop dreaming.

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